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What causes mastitis?

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Mastitis is a common condition in women who breastfeed. As many as one in 10 breastfeeding women in the U.S. get it. It's caused by a backup of milk in the milk ducts. This happens when your baby isn't sucking or attaching properly, or favors one breast over the other. Mastitis can also happen if you don't feed or pump regularly. Breastfeeding women aren't the only ones who get mastitis. If you're not breastfeeding, a cracked nipple or nipple piercing can cause the breast infection. Both allow bacteria to get into the milk ducts. This is especially common in women who smoke.

From: What Is Mastitis? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Mastitis."

Cleveland Clinic: "Mastitis."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Management of Mastitis in Breastfeeding Women."

National Health Service UK: "Mastitis."

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on June 25, 2019

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Mastitis."

Cleveland Clinic: "Mastitis."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Management of Mastitis in Breastfeeding Women."

National Health Service UK: "Mastitis."

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on June 25, 2019

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What are the symptoms of mastitis?

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